State lawmakers battle over Plan B for roads

State lawmakers are back from summer break are continuing work on a project to fix Michigan's roads

House Democrats are saying that state corporations should pay higher taxes to help pay the repairs. 

For the first time the GOP House speaker has indicated that a gas tax hike would be part of an end solution. And for the first time, House Democrats have offered their own road fix plan which includes a $500 million increase in the corporate income tax rate.

"This is a plan that finally makes corporations pay their fair share," said State Rep. Tim Greimel, House speaker. "And fixes the roads while not unduly burdening the families and people of our state."

However it is highly unlikely pro-business Republicans would ever support that. But one Democrat contends if only nine Republicans did, Democrats could overcome the fact that their plans are always rejected.

"Our plans never really get anywhere but stepped on," said Rep. Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser). "We'll put up 47 votes on our plan and you give us nine votes and it's a good plan, it might be a better angle."

Meanwhile the GOP leader thinks a .7 to .10 cent gas tax hike might fly, but not the .15 cents the GOP senate recently adopted.

"I could see a smaller version of a gas tax increase that could be part of the end plan," said House Speaker Kevin Cotter. "I know there's not a lot of excitement for a .15 cent gasoline tax increase."

Tim Skubick: "Would you support a .7 or .10 cent increase?"

"I don't know what the number would be," said Cotter. "We'll find out. And those are the type of things that we'll be talking about."

Skubick: "It won't be .15?"

"Likely," said Cotter.

While a final plan has not been drafted, the Democratic leader is still willing to look at the gas tax boost.

"We are always open to conversations with the other side," said Greimel. "We are not ruling any one source of revenue completely out."

The conversations continue as the hunt for the illusive road fix drags on.

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